Advice to Property Buyers on Strata Titles
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Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Department Datuk Jimmy Wong Sze Phin reminded high-rise property buyers in the State to obtain their strata titles from their developers as soon as possible. He said property buyers without the titles can face many issues.
"A buyer who does not have the title and wants to re-loan his or her property after paying for more than 10 years may have problems with the banks which are now quite strict.
"(We also must consider) if the developer is still there. Sometimes they have wound up their company or are bankrupt. If they are not bankrupt or wound up, then the developer will charge you a fee (for consent letter).
"So I hope buyers of high-rise buildings who still haven't received their titles will get in touch with me or my office."
Wong said this when met at the handing over of 375 strata titles from the State Land and Survey Department to City Mall buyers and developer at Wisma PKNS, Thursday.
He said City Mall was opened in 2006 and it took the buyers and developer more than 10 years to receive their strata titles. Wong also urged all property developers to surrender their titles for subdivision as soon as possible after starting their development projects.
"I notice they (property developers in the State) seemed to be very slow in surrendering their titles for subdivision. This will pose a lot of problems for buyers if the developers don't fulfil their responsibility to buyers.
"After you start the project, you should surrender your title for subdivision. In fact, the Land and Survey Department said most of the applications have already been approved for subdivision and that the developer has to act fast to engage a surveyor and pay the premium so that the surveyor can survey all the lots.
He said if the survey can be done after physical completion rather than after the Occupation Certificate (OC) is issued, then it's even better.
"If after the OC (and there are already people living in the units) is issued, then you will have many problems doing the survey. For example 1Borneo, there are hundreds of residential units. Those residential units along Jalan Sulaman can be probably thousands even. So after occupation the surveyor will find it difficult to go into the units to do their survey."
Thus, Wong said, the Government is now looking at amending the existing laws and regulations where after physical completion the surveyor can go in (to do the survey) before any occupation.
Earlier, State Land and Survey Department Director Datuk Safar Untong suggested that perhaps the existing laws and regulations can be changed to allow for a physical survey of the units before the issuance of the OC. Currently the procedure is the survey is done after the OC is issued.
"This is also good (opportunity) for the banks to impose the condition for the release of the last phase of the loan (where) 5-10 per cent (is held) until the developer produces the subdivided titles.
"I think the banks have a better position to make sure the developer gets the sub-divided titles as soon as possible. If they retain this 5-10 per cent, then the developer has no choice but to obtain the sub-divided title faster.
"I also advise buyers to insist on such terms that when you sign the Sales and Purchase Agreement, the final payment will only be released to the developer only if they produce a subdivided title.
"In this way the buyer can (have some) control where they can say they want or not to buy. Otherwise, It may take them (buyers) up to 20-30 years (even) to get their titles."
Wong said property buyers should also look at the management fee charged by the developers (when they want to sell their units or get a loan). This is because some developers might also charge a high fee of RM5000- 10,000 just to get a consent letter. It shouldn't be that much. Around RM500 should be more than enough. Buyers should be more conscious of this.
He added he would also bring to the attention of the chief minister on the need to increasing the number of technical staff at the Land and Survey department to speed up the land or strata title related matters there.